The Mane Lion

Twenty-eight Brady Lions Club members attended last Thursday’s lunch meeting at Cafe at the Depot. Lion President (also known as Lion Boss) Ronnie Gassiot didn’t try to bore us with any mundane business, at all. After our usual good meal, he turned the meeting over to Lion James Long, who brought our program speaker. Lion Long introduced Steve Stephens of San Angelo. Mr. Stephens has retired as Chief Executive Officer of Town & Country Food Stores. His presentation to our club was on behalf of the non-profit organization Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR). TLR is a broad-based, grass roots organization committed to lobbying for legislation that would make our civil justice system, in Mr. Stephens’ words, ‘a more even-handed system.’ The basic idea is to minimize the number of frivolous lawsuits that are filed, and possibly to limit the maximum amount of damages that can be awarded to a plaintiff in certain situations. Mr. Stephens mentioned two of TLR’s goals for accomplishment in the 2003 session of the Texas Legislature. One is seeking a change to Texas lawyers’ code of ethics that would prohibit class action law suits where there is only a remote potential for harm and no harm has actually been documented. The other proposal is to institute a statute for ‘offers of settlement.’ An ‘offer of settlement’ law would come into play if a defendant made an offer to settle a claim for a reasonable amount of money, and the plaintiff did not accept the offer, but insisted on going to trial, Under such circumstances, if the plaintiff lost the case in court, the plaintiff would have to pay the defendant’s attorney’s fees. The goal of Mr. Stephens’ talk was not specifically to raise money. He asked that individuals sign up to be notified by TLR when there is pertinent legislation being considered, and to write the their respective state senators and representatives in support of the TLR’s position. Texans for Lawsuit Reform is a non-profit entity, but it is not a charitable organization. While it certainly accepts donations for its operations, contributions to it are not tax deductible. It is a venue through which individual citizens can be directly involved with their state government. Brady Lions Club’s next meeting is this Thursday at noon at Cafe at the Depot. Come join us for this business meeting to hear about all of the ‘We Serve’ happenings coming in the near future.

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